PhD Scholarships at The University of Potsdam 2018, Germany

Publish Date: Feb 12, 2018

Deadline: Mar 09, 2018

2018 Public Call for PhD Scholarship Applications  

Pursuant to the Brandenburg Higher Education Laws and the Postgraduate Scholarship Committee regulations the University of Potsdam, the University of Potsdam offers PhD scholarships.

General information

Please submit all documents in a single pdf-document in the order specified in Section B.

  • The deadline for the application is obligatory. Receipt of all completed documents is decisive for successful application.
  • All documents must be typewritten (1.5 spacing; font size at least Arial 11).
  • Please identify, if possible, all documents with the page number and your name, continuously from the first to the last page/document.
  • The structure of the exposé (point E) must be kept.
  • Please name the pdf-document as following: Lastname_Firstname_Promotionsstipendium.pdf.
  • The letters of recommendation should be sent personally by the reviewers (as Pdf or by mail)

The awarding commission concerned with your application will form its opinion based on your submitted documentation. The quality of the current and/or previously completed work, your academic performance and the letters of recommendation are extremely important in the decision process. Therefore, it is in your best interest to fulfill the following criteria with the highest quality possible. The exposé should be 6 to 10 pages long. You are asked to address all the topics mentioned in the guidelines and to repeat the entire headline for each topic (including the ordinal numbers). Ensure a fair balance between the different outline points and the total number of pages. The explanations provided in the exposé must be clearly understandable without reading any of the cited literature. Documentation can be submitted in both German and English.

Documents to be submitted

  • Letter of motivation 
  • Application form
  • CV (attachment 1 to the application form)
  • Copy of diplomas (translated if necessary) (attachment 2 to the application form)
  • If applicable, references about former academic work experience (attachment 3 to the application form)
  • Exposé (attachment 4 to the application form)
  • Copy of matriculation (attachment 6 to the application form)
  • If applicable, credentials about the entitlement of compensation for disadvantage (attachment 7 to the application form)

- To be handed in by the reviewers separately from the application -

  • Letters of recommendation from both the supervisor and another professor involved with the topic of the PhD

Letter of motivation

Please include a letter of motivation as the first page of your application. It must be no longer than one page and clearly structured, with the date and both the recipient’s and the sender’s addresses (see announcement). Please provide a convincing presentation of your academic and professional qualifications and describe your motivation for the project. You should briefly explain the main reasons for your application and (if applicable) any further plans.

Indications for the CV

In addition to the usual information, the CV should also include the following: professional and scientific experience, teaching experience, publications / presentations, topic of the final paper and grade, longer periods of living abroad (excluding vacations), and language skills.

General information for the coversheet

  1. Applicant (last name, first name, academic degree)
  2. Topic of the PhD project
  3. Specific academic field (specialization)
  4. Supervisor and first expert reviewer for recommendation letters
  5. Further expert reviewers (name, academic field; these do not have to be identical with the second reviewer of the PhD thesis)
  6. Abstract
  7. Clear and comprehensible presentation of the project, short characterization of your project’s objectives (not longer than 15 lines)
  8. Intended date for completion of the PhD
  9. Working Environment
  10. Please briefly explain how you are integrated in colloquia, a working group, a research training group etc. Please indicate if you are an individual doctoral student. 

Research topic

Describe the contents, research questions and hypotheses of your project (max. 1 page)

State of the art, applicant’s own relevant contributions

  • State of the art (1 – 2 pages) The state of the art should be a precise, but brief, review of current research only of relevance to your project and should function as an explanation/reason for pursuing your own work. You are not expected to give a complete overview of the literature, but a critical presentation of those hypotheses and results that are at the core of research at the current moment, indicating the most important works of other scientists in this area. It should be made clear where your work can be situated on this background, and which urgent questions you focus on solving.
  • Applicant’s own relevant achievements (approx. 1 page) Description of your own work in this field of research (e.g. concluding final paper, focus) or special knowledge, which is relevant to the planned undertaking. Please describe the work you have accomplished so far. 

Objectives and Working-Program (Methodology)

  • Working-Program, time schedule (4 – 5 pages) Detailed information about your planned approach, especially a thorough explanation of the methodology, that you will apply in your project. A time schedule (e.g. in graphic or tabular form, including milestones) for the period of funding should clearly demonstrate the steps in your research project that are planned, have already started or are completed. Where appropriate, provide information about access to sources and infrastructure. The quality of the research approach are of utmost importance.
  • Objectives and relevance of the project (1 – 2 pages) Short presentation of the academic plans and objectives. If you are expecting some results besides the traditional academic results that are relevant for, e.g., the politics of science, economic-technological or sociopolitical aspects, please state this as well.


List of references for the literature cited in the application.

Information for expert reviewers

The selection committee of the postgraduate Funding program of the University of Potsdam kindly asks you to take the following considerations into account in preparing your letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation should show a special interest in the legal requirements of awarding a scholarship:

- To what extent are the accomplishments of the applicant above average?

- What are the applicant’s professional qualifications?

- How can this project contribute to current research?

- How would you evaluate the feasibility of the project regarding the time and work schedule?

The recommendation letter should also include information about the probability of concluding the project during the funding period. Furthermore, you are asked to declare your compliance to the Potsdam Graduate School’s quality criteria for the PhD work under your supervision.

The monthly stipend amounts to 1,100 € (without family allowance). Part-time scholarships are possible only in exceptional cases; see the. Potsdam University and the Potsdam Graduate School want to ensure equal opportunities in the promotion of young researchers. PhD students with disabilities will receive necessary compensation and will be given preference if qualifications are the same. We are eager to increase the proportion of women scholars and encourage women with the appropriate qualifications to apply. The call for applications is subject to budget considerations. For more information on the application. The scholarships will cover your living expenses, including social security and health insurance, where necessary. The call is open for PhD students of the University of Potsdam and for all scientific disciplines.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below. 

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